CCleaner Is Updated, Free And Portable

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CCleaner imageMicrosoft is always proud of announcing just how much faster each new version of Windows is, compared to the previous one. It's true that, if you upgrade to a new version of Windows your PC will run faster. But in many cases, the speed-up is nothing to do with the new operating system. It's simply that, the more you use your PC, the more it gets bogged down with old files and unnecessary registry entries. And it's these which are largely responsible for the slow-down, rather than the upgraded OS.

You can see it for yourself if you wipe your computer's hard disk and install a new copy of the same version of Windows that you had before. Your computer will almost always run much faster. But then, of course, over time, it will slow down again as the detritus builds up.

There are many programs which claim to be able to clean up the mess that Windows continually accumulates. Probably the best known is CCleaner, made by Piriform. While the full version is a paid-for product, the basic free edition is still very powerful and worth investigating if you've never tried it.

The most recent update to CCleaner was a couple of weeks ago. And as well as the standard installable version, there's also a portable edition which runs without installing anything. So if you don't like it, or don't intend to use it regularly, just delete the downloaded files and all traces of the software will be gone.

Although the portable version of CCleaner is not on the main download page, you'll find it listed at http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/builds and it's a 6 MB download. The program is malware-free according to VirusTotal and Web of Trust.

The program has 2 modes. First, it analyzes your computer in search of things that it recommends you should tidy up. A single click of a button will then do all the hard work for you. You can choose which recommendations to accept and which to reject.

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For those not familiar with it, CCEnhancer is a very useful addition that extends the range of CCleaner's cleaning abilities - https://singularlabs.com/software/ccenhancer/ .

To echo, and build upon, zdub's comment about the Registry, a quick web search will confirm his advice.

Whatever infinitesimal speed-up might be had from "cleaning" the Registry is FAR outweighed by the potential (perhaps even not unlikely) damage (as in catastrophic) that can be done by the wholesale deletion of entries.

For those who simply cannot sleep at night due to obsessing about those orphan Registry entries, then make dead certain to set a Restore point AND make a full backup of the Registry before "cleaning" it (a full system backup is not a bad idea, either...). But again, the best practice is for the vast majority of Windows users to simply leave the Registry alone.

"It's simply that, the more you use your PC, the more it gets bogged down with old files and unnecessary registry entries. And it's these which are largely responsible for the slow-down, rather than the upgraded OS."

Please stop perpetuating the MYTH that "unnecessary registry entries" slow down one's PC. It is simply NOT TRUE and Mark Russinovich stated as such way back in XP days.

At the margin of PC performance "unnecessary registry entries" can contribute to slow down your system. It is easy enough to slow down Windows by depriving it of enough memory to function properly. Many people have shown this including articles on this site. MarkRussinovich's comments about the registry in Windows XP were specifically about slowing down the registry rather than slowing down the PC. Because of the way it is designed to run there is no measurable impact on registry performance unless the memory it uses is severely constrained. At that point, Windows will have ground to a near halt anyway.

What does this even mean, "slowing down the registry rather than slowing down the PC" ? That's gobblydegook. Show me credible studies that show any significant improvement in PC performance because of removing "unnecessary registry entries". Don't just repeat the myth.

Remah himself has done exhaustive tests on the same and written several articles about it. My simple experience and a one liner about the same is that if you are installing/uninstalling a lot of programs registry cleaners are effective, but it only need to be used rarely (quarterly), just like a disk defragmenter.

It is not that hard to produce a measurable improvement in system performance following registry cleaning in Windows XP. The question of significance depends on the user and their system.

The more constrained your system memory or the older the version of Windows than XP then the easier it is to show measurable improvements. That was why I said "at the margins" because the average system configuration will not show any noticeable improvement. I wouldn't even bother testing Windows versions later than Vista because Microsoft has further enhanced the registry performance since XP.

The more that desk jockeys spread the myth that there is never any benefit from registry cleaning then the less likely it is that a web search will produce relevant results. On the other hand, as XP and earlier versions of Windows diminish in signficance then registry cleaning has less relevance.

I at least took the time to run real world tests and provided a summary of  some of that work here. Similar performance improvements have been reported elsewhere but some required a paid subscription.

Overall, I completed over a thousand test runs (from startup to shutdown) on three different computers looking at many variables like RAM, startup configuration, etc. The results were consistent across different systems and configurations. The results were also consistent with what we know about how computers work. For example, larger registry files take longer to load at startup; larger registry databases use more memory.

The tests had to be real world so they could be reproduced by an average users. It is not feasible for the average user to more directly measure the performance of the registry and related kernel components of Windows.

Do we really need Windows Registry Cleaners? I add the bold for emphasis.

YES, registry cleaners do make a difference but NO they do not normally make much difference. In fact the impact of registry cleaning was often less than the margin of error in my tests. It was consistent and measurable on my test systems but at an average around 1% it is close enough to zero. I found that Windows XP users have other options that will have a much greater impact on their Windows performance. These are obvious things like the amount of physical memory or the number and type of applications, services and drivers installed on your computer.

Your comment is valid in that a person would have to accumulate hundreds of thousands of unnecessary registry entries before that in and of itself would cause a significant slowing of a computer. Of course the more bloated a registry becomes the great the probability of fragmentation and that result would have a negative impact on processing speed.

@bnjohanson:

Just so you know: I have reported your second reply where you defend your first diatribe as offensive.
"We" don't like that sort of language here.

I guess I have more years with PCs under my belt than you are old so please behave yourself!

And YES, CCleaner IS A POWERFUL tool. As with ALL tools mankind ever has invented it is not the tool that is bad, only the intent of and how it is being used can make it bad.

If you don't know what you are doing a simple hammer is a danger to your fingers and/or to your neighbor's head.

CCleaner is one of the most light, powerful and useful tools I know. It's worth to remember: it offers other good options, like manage system restore points, searches for duplicate files and analysis of startup programs. Gil Mensch posted in detail about this, below.

To me, CCleaner is a must. I've been using it for years in all the computer that I take for maintenance/optimization. It's a top quality software, without a doubt.

I've used CCleaner for years and never had a problem. Just remember that when you get rid of all your cookies and thumbnails that you'll slow your system down as it rebuilds all that stuff. It's like throwing out the contents of your refrigerator - sometimes it's so bad it all has to go, but then you have to replenish it.

I see that there's a Mac version. Same idea, but no registry to worry about. No Linux version, but Bleachbit works great for that. I just ran it, and deleted a GB on my Kubuntu system, of older system files, logs, language packs. It didn't run any faster, but without a registry to get mucked up, Linux and Mac don't bog down unless you fill up the hard drive.

I had the same redirect problem using Firefox 45.0.1 . Tried to download from Major Geeks but that redirected to Piriform web page and redirected again bypassing the page with the portable version.

Finally got it from http://www.softpedia.com/get/PORTABLE-SOFTWARE/Security/Secure-cleaning/Windows-Portable-Applications-CCleaner-Portable.shtml.
Did the Virus Total check and it came up clean https://www.virustotal.com/en/file/6d9c60456749011536d3e9548c54108065da25dedde713026e9a7e993337982d/analysis/1460346115/

@howiem:
There is no redirect problem with the link to the builds page or the page at that, there seems to be a redirect problem on/with your computer and the other commenting guy who got redirected.
Run some thing like Malwarebytes Anti Malware and/or Emsisoft Emergency Kit on your machine and you'll see...

I emptied the sandbox I was working in, came to this page and then went to the CCleaner site using the builds link. It still redirected. I then disabled Privacy Badger and now I can get to the right page without a redirect.

As far as cleaning is concerned I consider Slimware's Slim Cleaner to be far superior but it never seems to be mentioned. Have you tested it and reviewed it?

You "consider'; why?
Any unquestionably good second opinion scans by well regarded third party software?
Some of the cleaners I regularly use mark SlimWare utilities at least as PuPs or sometimes worse!

Correct analysis. SlimCleaner is definitely one to be avoided. MC - Site Manager.
http://i.imgur.com/WDT56n6.png

Virus Total reports 1/57 negatives. Naturally that one is Dr. Web. Perhaps Dr. Web is the one to avoid?

https://www.virustotal.com/en/file/e931fd05d4531305e9f63c6d79a16cd9c32278b0388d5b7a1b6b22eb667aeaef/analysis/1459893720/

Could there be more than one program calling itself Slim Cleaner? I have been using the free version on a daily basis since at least May 2013 without any problems. Someone referred to not being able to find an author whereas it is clearly offered by SlimWare. I cannot believe that a program passed by 56 out of 57 antivirus programs is malware.

Malware in the true definition it may not be, hence the reaction of the antivirus scanners, but there are other considerations users should bare in mind, some of which are detailed in the forum link I posted. Slimware Utilities also list themselves as a "US based software company" and yet the address they give is just a mailing address shared by among others Ask.com :) This type of approach has never instilled confidence in me, but of course everyone is free to install and use whatever they feel happy with. MC - Site Manager.

I note that several of the comments posted refer to having to purchase the Pro version whereas the SlimWare website does not even list a Pro version. We must be at cross purposes here with people tallking about two different programs.

SlimCleaner Plus is clearly listed on their site. MC - Site Manager.

Also, and of general interest re many other programs, when users get something of this type infecting their system they naturally search for a way to remove it. Many of the sites offering seemingly legitimate help contain links to the SpyHunter malware removal tool. SpyHunter is rogue software and should be avoided at all costs. Their main site is red-rated by WOT (Web Of Trust) for good reason but they also have an army of other domains and affiliate links which they mutate as soon as the link turns red. Here is a good example of one with as yet no definitive WOT rating. MC - Site Manager.
http://malware-detective.com/uninstall-slimcleaner-plus/
See also:
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/550005/spyhunter-vs-malwarebyte...

The download link for the Portable redirects to their startpage wherein I can't find any portable option.

The link is working fine for me using Chromium/Linux. I suggest you check your browser/add-on/security software settings. MC - Site Manager.

I agree with SpiderJon. Piriform publishes incremental updates to CCleaner about once a month. I do think that is their way to get you to visit their website to see their pitch again for the Pro version. I have no problem with that, but their free version is "too good" to entice me to go Pro. The free version meets all of my needs in this area. By the way, you can skip most of the minor updates without missing out on anything significant.

CCleaner is a great product. I've used it for years, but BE CAREFUL. It's a powerful utility that can do more harm than good, or at least cause inconvenience, if you don't know what you are doing. The free version offers these features:
* It will clean up (delete) "junk" files on demand, potentially freeing up GBs of space on your hard drive and speeding up some aspects of your PC.
* You have very granular control of what CCleaner will delete and what it will leave alone. That is probably CCleaner's biggest strength. There are categories of files that CCleaner will get rid of by default, but you can easily set up your own list of preferences, and CCleaner will remember your preferences from session to session.
* If you choose, you can preview what files CCleaner will delete. Or you can just run the file cleaning operation without the preview step. Whichever you like.
* You can use CCleaner to uninstall apps (duplicating a Control Panel function).
* You can enable or disable Startup apps, and you can manage browser plug-ins. (Other free utilities, like WinPatrol, do a better job at this.)
* You can analyze your registry and have CCleaner "fix" problem entries, usually by deleting them. Be careful with this function if you use it. I do use this function occasionally. CCleaner takes a very conservative approach as to the keys it will delete.
* You can analyze your disk usage by file type. Again, other free apps are more robust in this area.
* It has a rudimentary duplicate file finder.
* You can delete old System Restore Points.
* You can set up a whitelist of cookies you do NOT want CCleaner to delete when you run the file cleaning operation.
* You can wipe a disk drive attached to your PC.

CCleaner is one of my must-have utilities on every PC I use.

(PS- I HAVE bought Pro versions of some other free utilities, like XYplorer and WinPatrol, if I find that the Pro version is worth the price. So I'm not just being a cheapskate by recommending the free CCleaner. It really does meet all my needs in its area of operation.)

"...BE CAREFUL. It's a powerful utility that can do more harm than good...". Really. I challenge you to create a scenario where this even resembles within a universe of being truthful....heck, go nuts, push all of the buttons at the same time, go hog-wild and delete every single thing CCleaner recommends...and guess what, NOTHING.

[Offensive comment edited out]

Mr. Johanson. You need to read more carefully. My full sentence was "It's a powerful utility that can do more harm than good, or at least cause inconvenience, if you don't know what you are doing." Here are some scenarios that show that my statement is valid:

* CCleaner will empty your Recycle Bin if you leave that option checked. Later, if you want to recover a file from your Recycle Bin, you can't because it's gone. At minimum, that is inconvenient. (PS- CCleaner will not delete anything from your recycle bin unless it has been there at least 24 hours, which is a good thing.)
* CCleaner can delete your cache of saved passwords, cookies, browsing history, download history, etc., from your browser(s). If you LIKE having the browser keep track of your passwords, for example, that would be an inconvenience if CCleaner got rid of them. A user that doesn't know what he/she is doing and just blindly checks everything will then lose the benefits of the data that the browser tried to keep.
* CCleaner can delete your browser session cache. If you like for your browser to open to the page(s) you were on when you closed it last, then you don't want CCleaner to delete that data. Again, inconvenient for the less-knowledgable user.
* As has been stated elsewhere in this thread, you can be playing with figurative fire when utilizing ANY third-party registry cleaner. I think CCleaner's registry cleaner is relatively safe, but a novice user won't know when a proposed CCleaner operation should be avoided. That definitely falls into the "more harm than good" category, especially considering that the benefit of having a "cleaned" registry is virtually nil.
* CCleaner has several "cleaning" options it lists under its "Advanced" category. If you click one of these, CCleaner itself will warn you that there could be adverse consequences for getting rid of the particular item. Case in point: Getting rid of "Windows Event Logs".

I could go on, but I think my point is made.

I didn't see your comments before the site editors removed the "offensive" material. I'm posting this reply for the benefit of others who read this thread later. As for you, Mr Johanson, next time may I suggest you read the entire sentence (and, really, the entire post) before taking issue with it? You'll save yourself some embarrassment down the road and maybe learn something in the process.

bnjohanson, Had CCleaner for several years and love it, BUT...you DO have to watch it very closely when getting rid of Registry Keys. When I first got it I didn't understand what Registry was, so just deleted everything recommended. Problem came when trying to use my media player and some other software I had downloaded. Got my fingers slapped when went to Windows forum and told them everything I'd been doing. I have since unchecked most of the Registry boxes and have had no problem. I've learned to check and double check when using software I've added to delete any files, especially from Registry. Yes, I'm learning as I go...sometimes that works best for seniors unused to dealing with any but the basic computer programs...that doesn't mean I have my head anywhere but on my head. FYI, no dramatics and don't belong to any sewing circles...

This is, shall we say, a bit offensive.

Also, considering that rather more people with actual, verifiable credentials say that CCleaner can cause problems if used incorrectly ... and i have no idea who or what you are ... i'll be proceeding cautiously with it.

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